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Overweight In The Teenage Is A Big Cause For Concern

Our agility and response get reduced and the body processes slow down. One such process which undergoes drastic changes is metabolism; the process of breaking down food into smaller units and utilizing them to build functional molecules of the body. The level and action of the digestive enzymes, hormones and associated organs reduce and we start complaining about indigestion, acidity etc and about weight gaining.

An altered metabolism and obesity

The digestive enzymes and hormones which play a vital role in the process of metabolism gradually lose their efficiency to break down large food units and, consuming huge quantities of food only surmounts the problem. The digestive process is altered, which under normal conditions, breaks down the biomolecules such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into final energy packets of glucose molecules.

The body utilizes these glucose molecules to carry out its functions and stores the excess glucose in body tissues such as the liver and subcutaneous tissues. Insulin is the main hormone which keeps the glucose level under control in the body and thus helps in keeping many disorders at bay through well-coordinated actions with many other hormones.

When digestion is impaired, the body fails to completely digest the biomolecules, which instead circulate in the body fluids and get accumulated as intermediate molecules and fat in various parts of the body like visceral area, thighs and subcutaneous tissues all over the body and mention overweight Teens using Steroids. The immediate result is overweight and obesity and extended results are various chronic diseases.

Insulin struggles to keep the increasing glucose level normal and its coordination with other metabolic factors gets hit. The cells in the liver and muscles and fat cells fail to respond to insulin, which is called Insulin Resistance (IR). IR is often considered as a warning signal for the subsequent metabolic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Obesity is no longer an age- associated condition

Long gone is that time when obesity, a condition when the body weight is more than 10% higher than the recommended height to weight ratio, was linked with the elderly population. It is now a common epidemic-like scene in children, youth, and adults alike. Of particular concern is the increasing occurrence of overweight and obesity in the teenage, considered as the gateway from childhood to adulthood. The body undergoes rapid, decisive changes during this time and these changes often decide our quality of life as a mature adult.

Obesity interferes with the ability of the body to gracefully embrace adulthood and the resulting negative impacts are many. Studies report that more than one-third of the younger population aged between 12 and 19 years are overweight. This pulls down the prospects of a healthy future generation. The major causes of teenage obesity are:

  • Genetic factors and heredity (family history)
  • Unhealthy eating habits and overeating
  • Sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical exercise
  • Medical conditions such as hormonal or endocrine and neurological problems
  • Medications containing steroids (both for physical and psychiatric improvements)
  • Life events and turnings causing stress and depression
  • Social and emotional issues, etc.

Obesity makes the teens prone to many health and development issues, many of them previously associated with aging. These include cardiovascular complications like blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, stress and sleep disorders, hormonal imbalance and impaired reproductive development, respiratory and breathing problems, joint pain and even emotional turmoil and low self-esteem.

Obesity in female teens is a major cause for early puberty, hyperandrogenia and reproductive disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) etc. Teenagers getting conscious about physical appearance and weight gain often resort to over the counter (OTC) weight loss supplements to reduce fat deposits and get a healthy-looking structure. Teenage boys and sports lovers mostly get tempted to take muscle enhancers and energy stimulants as supplements.

Steroids in mineral supplements are one of the major culprits

Teens consume medications for the treatment of certain conditions like infections, psychological disturbances, hormonal imbalance, anxiety and depression, undergrowth, improving physical appearance and performance etc. These medications contain steroids such as androsterone, testosterone (male hormone), growth hormone, cortisol, estrogen and progesterone (female hormones), dianabol, and winstrol. Of particular danger are the ones containing anabolic steroids, mostly taken to improve physical appearance and energy levels.

Untimely exposure to large levels of such steroids at an age when the body is preparing to undergo major changes and a rapid spurt of development, makes it vulnerable to external interventions and can permanently put curtains to the possibility of leading a healthy adulthood. Among the long-time effects of taking steroid supplements are:

  • Muscle enhancing supplements often result in obesity
  • Loss of brain control (limbic system is affected leading to mood swings and aggression)
  • Indecisive nature and hallucinations
  • Cardiovascular complications including cholesterol, high blood pressure
  • Side-effects on kidney
  • Liver diseases
  • Hormonal side-effects like early puberty, gynecomastia, abnormal primary and secondary sexual features
  • Heightened risk of cancers like prostrate cancer, etc.

Manage obesity in a healthy way and reducing dependence to steroids

Traditional methods to fight obesity are far healthier than any kind of weight loss medicines and supplements. The effect of steroids taken as a part of prescribed medications can be minimized by well-planned diet, lifestyle and physical activities as well as maintaining healthy social and family environment. Healthy ways to manage obesity includes:

  • Follow a well-planned weight management program
  • Have a healthy, natural diet on time with natural nourishing food and fibers
  • Avoid junk and fast foods, addictions, high-calorie food
  • Exercise regularly and increase hobbies involving physical activities such as swimming and walking
  • Remain physically active instead of leading sedentary lifestyle
  • Devote more time to friends and family
  • Avoid taking unnecessary OTC mineral supplements as an alternative to above methods

The role of parents in mentoring teens is crucial. Devote time to interact with them, encourage them to share their mind with you, and take a close watch on their eating habits and physical activities. As popularly told, ‘education starts at home’, so is health, which is, in fact better achieved with support and guidance from home.